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#pounditTuesday, October 19, 2021

Dion Waiters has hilarious quote about adjusting to NBA defense from college

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Thunder guard Dion Waiters doesn’t just fire off inefficient jumpers anymore. Now he’s expanded out to priceless one-liners as well.

In an interview with Coach Nick of BBALLBREAKDOWN on Thursday, Waiters replied to a question about his familiarity with NBA-level defensive concepts coming out of college by quipping, “I went to Syracuse.”

Waiters, of course, was referring to his alma mater’s renowned zone defense, namely the 2-3 scheme that Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has become famous for over the years. While the zone is just about stifling, systematic perfection at the college level, it tends to skew our perceptions of the individual defensive abilities of those Orange who wind up making the leap to the NBA, where zone defenses are highly rare.

Furthermore, Syracuse products (as well as others who come from a background of playing exclusively zone in college) face a significantly steeper learning curve when trying to pick up on man-to-man fundamentals in the Association. As such, their defensive reputations tend to suffer as demonstrated by the likes of Michael Carter-Williams, Carmelo Anthony, and even Waiters himself.

But then again, with Syracuse shocking the country this year by making the Final Four when many doubted that they should have even made the tournament in the first place, perhaps it’s all worth it.

Image Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

H/T NBA Reddit

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